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  • Author: Edward Fishman, Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: North Korea has emerged as one of the most significant national security threats facing the United States and its allies today. Since leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011, North Korea has accelerated the pace of its nuclear tests, and appears to have made substantial progress in developing operational medium-, long-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts assess that if left unchecked, Pyongyang could develop the capability to strike the contiguous United States with a nuclear warhead within 5–10 years. Because of that, in June 2017 U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis characterized North Korea as “the most urgent and dangerous threat” to U.S. peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Allen, Taniel Chan
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Partially autonomous and intelligent systems have been used in military technology since at least the Second World War, but advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent a turning point in the use of automation in warfare. Though the United States military and intelligence communities are planning for expanded use of AI across their portfolios, many of the most transformative applications of AI have not yet been addressed. In this piece, we propose three goals for developing future policy on AI and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use, and mitigating catastrophic risk. By looking at four prior cases of transformative military technology—nuclear, aerospace, cyber, and biotech—we develop lessons learned and recommendations for national security policy toward AI.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jerry Hendrix, Lt Col James Price
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: On Christmas Day in 1914, three former cross-channel packet ships, the Engadine, Empress, and Riviera, stood off the island of Heligoland in the North Sea. Under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy cruisers Arethusa and Undaunted, the three ships pulled back the tarps erected on their sterns and forecastles to reveal nine seaplanes. The aircraft – three Short Folders (Short was the company name; Folder was the model and denoted the aircraft’s ability to fold its wings for storage), four Short 74s, and two Short 135s – were assembled and carefully lowered into the water. The Folders had a 67-foot wingspan, were powered by a 160-horsepower engine, and weighed 3,040 pounds fully loaded. The other two models were derivatives of the original Folder and had similar, if not exact, characteristics. Seven of the nine aircraft were able to get airborne (the other two were unable to break the dynamic tension of the water) and headed eastward carrying three 20-pound Hale bombs apiece, each of which contained 4.5 pounds of explosives within 13 pounds of steel guided by aluminum tail fins. Combined, the 21 bombs had less destructive power than one 13-inch shell fired from a British battleship, but these weapons could be taken directly to their targets and dropped precisely on top of them.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nicholas C. Prime
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The U.S. Navy’s updated Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower outlines several key themes and areas of development for the sea services as they continue the transition from the focus on the land wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.1 Some are new, a few are traditional, and several provide an interesting perspective on previously gestating concepts. One item of particular interest, and the focus herein, is the call to “expand the practice of employing adaptive force packages, which tailor naval capabilities to specific regional environments.”2 This seems like something that should be fairly intuitive, something that should evolve naturally as the sea services adapt to new and challenging circumstances. However, the argument here is meant to suggest something broader, a more conceptual rethink of how the maritime services, collectively, develop and deploy force structure packages. In short, all three maritime services should work toward the creation of an integrated, open framework for force development and deployment. A framework which replaces the practice of haphazard or incoherent deployment of assets, deployments with little or no connection between platforms deployed and overarching strategic aims. Abandoning a practice that indelicately pushes standardized—one size fits most—force packages into meeting unique operational requirements, and instead develop a system that identifies operational requirements and allows the relevant services (even when acting in concert with partner nations) to more precisely match particular capabilities to unique operational requirements.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ellie Maruyama, Kelsey Hallahan
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Terrorist financing entails the raising and moving of funds intended for terrorist causes.1 The number and type of terrorist groups and the threats associated with them have changed over time, but the fundamental need for terrorists to raise, move, and use funds has remained constant.2 Terrorists have displayed adaptability and opportunism in meeting their financing needs, which vary but can be substantial.3 For example, al Qaeda relied on many sources of funding and its pre-9/11 annual budget was an estimated $30 million.4 The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), one of the best-funded terrorist organizations in modern history, approved a $2 billion budget for 2015
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Julie Maupin
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Blockchain, tangle and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) are pushing a broad array of previously centralized global economic activities toward decentralized market structures. Governments should tackle the new regulatory conundrums of an increasingly disintermediated global economy by focusing on DLTs’ individual use cases rather than its underlying enabling technologies. Grouping the known use cases by common characteristics reveals three broad categories of blockchain-law interfaces. For ease of reference, this paper labels these the recycle box, the dark box and the sandbox. Each raises distinct legal, regulatory and policy challenges deserving of separate analysis.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Einhorn, Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In conducting its Nuclear Posture Review, the Trump administration needs to consider how best to meet U.S. deterrence requirements in a changing security environment. Today’s most pressing challenges to U.S. deterrence goals come not from the threat of a massive nuclear attack against the U.S. homeland but from the possibility that nuclear-armed adversaries will use the threat of escalation to the nuclear level to act more aggressively in their regions and prevent the United States from coming to the defense of its allies and partners.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Johan Verbeke
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Scholars and pundits alike have been qualifying our times as of “transition and turbulence”, “disorder” and “strategic unease”. Other concepts that recur in discussions on the present state of the world are ‘uncertainty’ and ‘unpredictability’. They all seem to point to a world in flux. Let’s see what that means.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Todd E Col Key
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Today's global security environment remains volatile, uncertain, ano complex. Resurgent, revanchist, and unstable states, and radical terrorist organizations continue to challenge the international order, undermine peace and stability, and threaten U.S. interests. In the face of this, the United States Army remains America's combat force of decision. If the political leaders of the United States decide to deploy its Army, the Nation's opponents know they will be defeated. This certainty is the foundation of America's deterrent capability
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Robert J. Bunker
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Armed robotic systems—drones and droids—now emerging on the battlefield portend new strategic realities not only for U.S. forces but also for our allies and future potential belligerents. Numerous questions of immediate warfighting importance come to mind with the fielding of these drones and droids that are viewed as still being in their experimental and entrepreneurial stage of development. By drawing upon historical weapons systems life cycles case studies, focusing on the early 9th through the mid-16th-century knight, the mid-19th through the later 20th-century battleship, and the early 20th through the early 21st-century tank, the monograph provides military historical context related to their emergence, and better allows both for questions related to warfighting to be addressed, and policy recommendations related to them to be initially provided.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus